Now here are a couple of little games for your next practice with a partner that might make for a little fun and spark some new awareness.
1) Leader takes a pause, then the follower chooses what follows … which might be nothing at all!
For example, the leader gives a parada then leads the follower up to the blocking foot (DID they actually lead that?). Among many possible things the follower could do are:
a) Step back where they were.
b) Step in any possible, desired direction.
c) Pivot and sandwich the leader’s foot.
d) Step and barrida the leader’s foot.
e) Do multiple things.
f) Do nothing and wait for leader to lead.
2) Follower forces pauses on the leader at random, or possibly at *significant* moments in the dance. Once it is clear that pause has occurred, let the leader take it from there. (Do you know how to force a pause? Who can you ask? What do you do when the leader is about to run into somebody?)
1. Follower, does the exercise (either one) make you feel more inclined to wait for a lead, less so, or something else altogether?
2. Leader, what do you feel in that instant before you decide to create a pause? What do you feel as you wait for a pause to play out? What do you feel when the follower forces (asks?) you to make a pause? During the pause? After the pause?
3. Follower and leader, how long must a pause be before a follower has permission to use it? How short can a pause be and have usefulness? How long must the follower’s “inaction” be before the leader chooses to continue?
4. How do these pauses affect your balance?
5. How short must a pause be so you, your partner, onlookers still perceive a flow between movements?
6. Where, or maybe how, do you feel a difference between a pause of uncertainty and one of mastery?
7. How long must the pauses be between words you speak so that the words are still perceived as well formed? How long can the pause be before listeners think your speech pattern odd?
For further study: INDIRECT PROCEDURES: A Musician’s Guide to the Alexander Technique by Pedro De Alcantara. Page 202, Delayed Continuity.